Dodge Ball Games

Dodge ball or Knee ball and the games based on it are very popular and ideal for situations where you have an enclosed space as it stops you loosing the ball.

All these games need one or two large/ish (volleyball or football sized) balls. The softer the ball the slower it is and easier to dodge and better for young children, but I've found that older children prefer playing with a faster, harder ball which requires more skill to dodge, such as a cheap football (UK football/soccer)

HINT:- All versions work best if the ball is constantly kept moving, rather than players taking their time looking for a good shot. This is very good for encouraging team co-operation as in most of these games the person throwing the ball is not able to move and if they delay, those avoiding being tagged have moved well out of the way, so the aim of the game is to throw to another team member who is closest to players trying not to get tagged... that is keep the ball moving around!

Dodge Ball

Also known as
Knee ball
Killer ball (..Aylesbury Vale District Council playschemes.)

One or two players become the 'taggers' and using the ball they have to tag the other players by hitting them below the knee with the ball. Depending which variation is being used taggers can either run with the ball or have to stand still once it is in their hands. Any player that gets tagged sits out.


- Players that get tagged sit down where they are rather than sitting to the side. 

- Players when tagged change places with the tagger and become the tagger instead.

Sent in by Katie26657

- Instead of throwing or kicking the ball, throwers knee the ball with their knees (use a soft ball or a soccer ball for older players)

Sent in by Kev Porter

All-in-Dodge Ball

aka "Ball Tag"

As Dodge Ball, but players once tagged join in with the tagging.


A variant rule to keep the game moving quickly throwers/taggers must throw the ball within 5 seconds or they face a penalty, possibly that the others get to nominate back into play a player who has already been knocked out.


Sent in by Erika

Play as normal Dodge Ball but you either dodge the ball or use your butt to block a ball that is coming at you.

Corner Ball

Divide into two teams. Play as dodge ball but person holding ball may only take one step only in any direction, with the objective of tagging opposing team players. Ball changes to opposing team with any throws that are dropped. Team with most tags wins.

Doctor Doctor

Credited to Jon Talley)

Dodge ball variation. Divide into 2 teams with each team going to opposite sides of the hall/playing area, each choosing a doctor which they keep secret (You may need 2 doctors for larger groups). Play as Team Dodgeball with teams throwing one or more soft balls at the legs of the opposing team to eliminate the other team by getting all its players out. When someone is hit below the knee, they must sit. The Doctor however may touch the injured and bring them back into play. Hint: Players shouldn't just pop up when touched as this will give away the doctor and a decoy touching kids as well is recommended. When the Doctor is hit, the team's only hope is their skill.

Dodge Ball in Threes

A reverse of 'Piggy-in-the-middle'. One player has to dodge the ball thrown by the other two players. If hit they take the place of the one who throw it.

Dragon Dodge Ball

Have the entire group make a circle and pick 4 or 5 people for a team. This team goes into the center of the circle and forms a line by attaching their hands to the waist of the person in front of them (a "dragon"). Those people who make up the circle throw the ball at the "dragon", trying to hit the last person below the waist. Once hit, the last person returns to the outside circle and players continue to hit the new person at the end of the dragon until there in only one person left and they too are hit. A new team then goes into the middle. Time each team to see which one can last the longest.

Dragon's Teeth Dodge Ball

Play as Dragon Dodge Ball above with players in a large circle and a small group/team of 4 or 5 players linked in a chain (the dragon) by holding the waist of the one in front. Players forming the circle have to hit the last player of the dragon below the waist with a ball. When the last player has been hit they rejoin the circle, but the player who managed to hit them joins the dragon by going to the front....  Creating an endless chain, play is continuous so that ball is still in play while players change over.

Four Court Dodge Ball

4 court dodge ballDivide the playing area into 2 halves and then create within each half near the back another smaller 'bin' area (here shown as shaded).

Divide into two teams each taking half of the playing area, but not in the bin area. Using 1 or more soft balls shared equally between both teams, balls are thrown to hit opposing team members below the knee. When players are hit they retire to the bin area behind the opponents line. From this position they can continue to attack the opposite team. Winners are the first team to knock all the opposing team into the bin area.


Sent in by Cloie92

As dodge ball (players hit below the knees by the ball are out) and ideally use a squash court, or if not available a convenient wall to play against. All players can pick up the ball to throw it so it rebounds off the wall, but cannot throw it directly at other players. Once the ball has bounced off the wall each player is only allowed to tap the ball once to stop it hitting them below the knees.



Sent in by Rachel Gilchrist

Use a beach ball. Everybody puts 1 hand behind them and use the free hand to hit the ball away from themselves and at other players. If you get hit below the belly button (navel) you leave the game to stand in a jail area. Someone not playing the game must call jail break for everyone to leave jail. There must also be 2 or 4 players not in jail to call jail beak.

Hostage Dodge Ball

ŠKit Logan, 2001

A simple dodge ball game designed to provoke discussion about being hostage.

1 player is the Captor and chooses 3 other players to become hostages. All other players get to throw the ball. The object of the game is to eliminate the Captor by hitting them with ball below the knee without hitting the hostages. Any hostage hit below the knee is out of the game and the Captor can choose any other person except those already out of the game to take their place.

Everybody has freedom of movement around the playing area, but hostages at all times must remain touching the Captor and go where the Captor goes. Players cannot move when they have the ball and can only throw it.

With large numbers have several people playing the Captor or play it full body ball style so that it is counted a hit if the ball touches any part of the body below the neck.


aka 'Witches Glue Pot'

Play as with dodge ball, but instead of sitting out to the side players have to sit down where they are and from there can help with the tagging of any players who get close enough to be touched. If a player is caught this way they also sit down where they have been caught.

Team Dodge Ball

Divide into even teams (or evenly matched!). Each team standing in one half of a court. Teams then take it in turns to throw a soft ball at the other team from their side. Players when hit below the knee either sit down where they are or join the other side. This becomes much more difficult and fun if more than one ball is put into play!

Team Circle Dodge Ball

One team stand within a defined space/circle, the other team stand on the outside and have to knock out the team in the area by hitting them with the ball below the knee.

Protect the President

Credited to J. Hart

Players again stand in a large circle with two people in the middle. One person in the middle is the President, the other is the Bodyguard. Those standing in the circle try to hit the president with the soft ball. The bodyguard may do anything to block the ball with his body: jump, squat, dive, etc. 

If the ball touches the President at any time [any part of the body, not just below the knees], the person who threw the ball (or the last person to touch it) then becomes the Bodyguard, the Bodyguard becomes the President, and the President rejoins the circle. What makes this exciting is that from the moment the President is hit, the new President is vulnerable as the transition is instantaneous. The new bodyguard must be fast at getting into the circle to defend him or her. This sometimes makes Presidential Turnover pretty quick, but it's exciting. This game is exhausting, especially if the people in the middle are good.


Sent in by Victoria Crick. Played at Blenheim High School, Epsom

Can be played as a team or non-team game and uses small foam balls.

Object of the game is for a player to attempt to run between two lines of players from a starting position to a wall or marker and back again without being hit below the knee by the small softball/s that are being rolled by the players either side of him/her. (Those rolling the balls need to be far enough away to give the runner a chance but not so far as to be ineffective). 

If this is played in teams one team forms two lines ready to roll the ball/s while the other lines up to take turns at trying to reach wall/marker and back without getting hit.

Team or person with the most successful runs at the end wins.

Spider Ball / Body Ball

'Spider Ball' is a dodge ball variation developed at FISH Club, Feb 2001.

Use a large enclosed space. Start with two or three throwers. Basic dodge ball rules in that players may move around anywhere within this space. Throwers are the spiders but are restricted in movement to the outside edge of the hall or around any obstacles such as tables or stacked chairs that are in the way. Spiders must be within touching distance of the outside edge in order to be able to throw the ball. Any player hit by the ball becomes a spider and helps with the throwing. Spiders may leave the edge to retrieve a ball if it is out of reach.

Body Ball variation is where a player is out if the ball touches any part of their body, although the ball must be aimed for below the knees. (Useful rule where players are getting too skillful at dodging the ball and/or some of the throwers at the side are not so good at throwing)